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Old 08-19-07, 08:21 AM   #1
BeckyW
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Recurring rear wheel problems on new bike

About 3 weeks ago (with only about 60 miles on the bike) my rear wheel went badly out of true and before I'd realized it, I wore a hole in my tire, causing a huge blowout. LBS trued the wheel (no charge - they do free lifetime service), I bought a new tire, and went on my way.

Today, a little less than 100 miles later, I broke a spoke on the rear wheel. It took me about half a mile to figure out what had happened, so the tire is worn, and will have to be replaced again as well.

I'd really rather not have to deal with this every 50-100 miles (or once a week, with the mileage I've finally worked up to!)! So I'm wondering 1) what, if anything, do I get upgraded, and 2) what sort of warranty coverage should I expect or ask for from my LBS? They're really nice, and know a lot about road biking and hard-core mountain biking, but I've gotten the impression they're not very knowledgeable about building a bike for someone my size. I don't want to be too demanding, but I also don't want to pay for stuff I shouldn't have to.

I ride a Raleigh Venture 4.0 (2006) with:
  • Spokes: 14g stainless steel
  • Hubset: Shimano RM30 QR 36h
  • Rims: Alex R1000 36h
The spoke broke at the hub, and I wasn't doing anything extreme - just doing an easy warm-up @ about 10 mph on flat-ish asphalt. I'm heavy - 380 lbs/5'11" - but I don't ride real hard. Mostly spinning along @ 12-14 mph on flats, crawling up hills @ 7mph (or flying down them with very little effort). My tires take a max 65 psi, which is what I inflate them to before almost every ride (and I did so today). I'm not sure of the tire width, but they're not skinny road tires.

I just read through bdinger's "Should I throw away my #$%#$ bike?!" thread in the Clydes' forum - but I don't know if my bike will take the Deep V's (or if they're appropriate), or what from that thread applies here.

Advice is very appreciated!

(I'm posting this same question in the Clydes' forum)
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Old 08-19-07, 09:37 AM   #2
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At 380 lbs, you'll pretty much need the strongest of everything - i'm not surprised you are breaking spokes. The LBS should not have sold you that bike or at least warned you that the stock wheels on that bike wouldn't be able to handle it.

You also should try learning how to replace a tire yourself. With a good set of tire levers, it is an easy job. The wheelbuilding/repair i'd leave to the LBS. That being said - you need to go with advice from people who have been down this route before, clydesdale forum.

You'll most definitley need a custom built wheel, or you should anyways.
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Old 08-19-07, 02:00 PM   #3
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I feel your pain.

I break spokes too often (250 lbs), but I don't need to replace the tire when I do, that's a little strange.

In any event, you're going to want to invest in a proper wheel. Unfortunately, it will probably cost more than the bike. I agree with operator, the store you bought it from is lame. They should have mentioned something about your weight, and the potential for wheel problems with the cheap ass ones that come stock.. although perhaps they were affraid of offending you
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Old 08-19-07, 03:32 PM   #4
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A good wheel should be able to take your weight. It sounds like the spoke tension might be low. Are the spokes breaking on the driveside or non-driveside of the wheel? If they are breaking on the non-driveside, then suspect low spoke tension.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:40 PM   #5
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The tire is probably my fault - I didn't realize immediately what had happened and it got worn in that half-mile or so. Or maybe it was slightly out of true before it broke, and got worn beforehand. I do know how to change a tire.. lol... but not how to true a wheel. This is pretty much the same as the advice I've gotten over in the Clydes' forum - get a stronger rim, get it trued and TENSIONED correctly. So I have a much better idea of what to say/ask for at the LBS tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-07, 03:54 PM   #6
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What exactly do you mean by 'worn'?

Tires wear.. you shouldn't have to replace it by having it misaligned for merely 1/2 mile. It say you didn't realize it was crooked, was it rubbing against the frame?

I find it hard to believe that a 1/2 mile is going to grind a tire to the point where it needs to be replaced, especially since you didn't realize it. If it was grinding against the frame hard enough to eat the rubber thin, then you would have realized it. (were you wearing an iPod or something? ;p )

Do you think you could get into truing a wheel? It's not that difficult, more tedious than anything. I learned quickly after having spent too much for the lbs to do it. It's not difficult. Invest $50-100 in a cheapo truing stand, and a spoke wrench.

Of course, not everyone is into that, and would rather pay someone else to do it. For myself, I've probably already saved over $100 in 1 month by being able to repair a broken spoke and true the wheel for myself.

As much as I hate breaking a spoke.. fixing it is oddly fun.. (I think that's just what I keep telling myself).

Last edited by BugsInMyTeeth; 08-19-07 at 04:01 PM.
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